OBSERVATIONS FROM A NON-CHRISTIAN WEDDING…
Recently, I was given the opportunity to perform the wedding ceremony of my neighbors (who are not Christians). It was one of the coolest things I have done in a while. The best part was being able to share the gospel with them. I had some observations from the wedding:
1- Everyone understands love it is not solely a Christian thing. The Bible tells us that God is love, this I do know. I also know that love is shared among those who are not Christians. I do not totally understand the theology behind it all, but to belittle their love is to belittle their entire being as a person.
2- NON-Christians don’t want to only hear the gospel, they want to see it. We share the gospel with words, we show the gospel with grace. A Southern Baptist preacher sharing the gospel and performing a ceremony in front a crowd of drunk people may not be ideal, but it makes a point. The point: you matter, I care about you.
3- Other people have convictions. They have a system of rights and wrongs that matter to them. Having life experiences and being raised a certain way helped create these convictions. To frown upon their personal convictions does not make you more Godly or them more open to hear the gospel.
4- EVERYONE has a story. The bride and groom cared very little for the fact that I went to church; they cared greatly about the fact that I had a story. They cared about my story because they have story to tell as well. Their story, at least to this point, just hasn’t been changed by the gospel… yet.
5- The Bible has value in the lives of Non-Christians. Reading 1 Corinthians 13, Genesis 2 and Romans 5 at a wedding in front a group of people without visible faith was incredible. Having the bride and groom like, and then get excited about hearing the Bible read was even better.
6- You don’t have to drink champagne to fit in, sweet tea works fine (and tastes better). Non-Christians with their “devil’s juice” do not expect you to be someone you are not, nor change your convictions for them (see #3.) Not once was I viewed through some sort of narrow lenses as to why I wasn’t drinking alcohol.
7- Christians are awkward. When the Bible says Jesus hung out with and ate with sinners, it doesn’t say he stood in the back while everyone drank wine awkwardly. It alludes to him being there in the middle of it. We will never be taken seriously if we stand against the back wall with judgmental eyes. Rather, we must step out, sit at the table with “sinners,” and join them in conversation. Maybe even get on the dance floor with them.
8- No one cares that you are a Christian, or for me a Pastor, until you care that they are a person. Christians must remember we aren’t selling something. Jesus isn’t Arbonne.
9- Hearing Tom Petty & the Heart Breakers at the ceremony was surprising and fun. Hearing Journey made me laugh. Hearing Savage Garden made me cover my ears. Hearing Switchfoot reminded me why I was there.
10- Non-Christians do not understand our Christian vernacular and way of speaking. It is almost a different language to someone who doesn’t go to church. Christians sound goofiest when they speak in Christian jargon. Please stop.
11- My faith mattered to them, and I was respected for it.
12- When others know you care about them, and you choose to serve them first, they might be more willing to hear you out. And potentially more acceptable to the gospel.
13- Non-Christians have friends who are also non-Christians. Non-Christians have family who are also non-Christians. Non-Christians have co-workers who are also non-Christians.
This blog post was written by Joshua Glymph, High School Pastor at Fruit Cove Baptist Church. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
and some small spiderman toys right away. He was pumped. We went and ate breakfast as a family, went for a walk at a marina, hung out a little, took him to pick out a cake - and the rest of the day was filled with telling Micah happy birthday, which every time he would promptly respond back to you, or anyone that told him - happy birthday. It was an awesome day, we even got to stay up late after church eat cake and boo Lebron on TV (thanks mom.
Honestly though as I began to think about Micah’s birthday I kept coming back to the point that he very easily may not have been. See Micah is adopted. His birthmother, from what we know was in a tough spot in life already 2 kids (Micah’s older brother and sister, he’s lucky to have more siblings;) and not a lot of support. She had a choice to make. The easy way out or the difficult one. The easy way out, helped her “move on” more quickly, it was less costly, less embarrassing, and maybe would allow her to start to get ahead for the first time. The other choice would make her life more difficult, it would be overwhelming. Having to carry a child for 9 months, knowing at the end of it, he would not be yours. Can you imaging having morning sickness, and not being able to think “but this will be worth it when he is here.” Having all the questions and stares because you are not married yet pregnant. The cost of paying for a pregnancy, doctors, hospital bills, pregnant lady food. Often times I have wondered if Micah’s birthmother would feel Micah kick, sing to him, talk to him, read a book to him, etc... and in those moments think, “I will never know this boy.” I will never see him grow up to be a man, never nurse him as a baby, play with his as a child, teach him to get dressed as a boy, watch him participate in things he loves as a kid. This is the hard road. The difficult road.
I have been overwhelmed in praising God over Micah’s birthmother who made the very difficult decision of giving her baby boy up for adoption. Having 2 other kids myself, I cannot imagine. I wonder how often she thinks about Micah, how often she cries over the “loss” of son. How she longs to read books to him, talk to him, see what he is like today. I wondered, on Micah’s birthday this week what she thought. What her emotions were. I prayed for much on Wednesday. I can’t imagine. She took the hard road, and because she did - I have a son. A beautiful, joyful, energetic, magnet, music loving, sports playing, super-hero, handsome son. One who everyday hugs me, runs to me when I get home from work for a hug, and wrestles with me anytime I want to. Very easily a different decision could have been made and there would be no Micah Andrew. A dude I could not imagine life without.
As I think about Micah and his birthmother, I am continually reminded of Jesus. That Jesus was given over by His Father to be crucified so that man could have fellowship with God again. That God would send His only son to be crushed for our sin. That Jesus would come to bear the sins the world. Adoption as great and incredible as it is. The fantastic ministry it is and for all its incredible stories. In the end adoption is a reminder and picture of the gospel. That the Father gave his Son so that man could have life.
1 John 3:1
“See what kind of love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us us that it did not know him.”
All things Jesus, the gospel, culture, adoption, the church, homeschool, etc.. Josh frequently updates his blog here and posts articles at fruitcove.com/blog.
9th Grade Ladies, Watch Out For WOLVES!
Dear rising freshman,
If a senior hits u up... It's because he respects u and ur great personality!
Recenty I came across this tweet, retweeted by a few students that I follow. While I KNOW the idea behind it was humor, for some reason it really stuck with me. Here is why… behind this “joke” is a great lie and a great evil.
Over the next few weeks, 14 yeard old freshman young ladies will walk into high schools everywhere wide eyed, scared, intimidated and just hoping to fit in. Along the way, 18 year old men with beards who are seniors will see these insecure young ladies and prey on them. They will say things and do things in an attempt to make them “feel special.” Here is the poblem, most of these “men” are not men at all, they are wolves preying on the meek and weak. These wolves do not want to be your friend and don’t love your personality rather – they just want one thing from you. You know what it is... Hint, it does not include clothing.
To my 9th grade ladies, let me offer some wisdom in how to handle this…
~Pray and ask the Lord to protect you, each morning BEFORE you walk in the school
~Maintain your time with the Lord, even after school starts
~Stick with your people, stay with those you know and grew up with
~DON’T LISTEN TO YOUR HEART, the scriptures say the heart is wicked and decieteful, so don’t listen to it or follow it or you will end up where you do not want to be
~Avoid riding in cars alone with older boys
~Avoid riding in cars alone with random boys
~Avoind riding in cars alone with boys
~See if he is also flirting with other girls, most of the time these “wolves” prey on more than just 1 girl at a time. If he will flirt with anyone, he doesn’t care about you.
~Set some boundaries, things like: I won’t date anyone the first 6 months of high school. I won’t date anyone who is more than 2 years older than me. I won’t ride alone with boys, etc…
~Gain wisdom from those you respect and those who love you. Ask what do they think of so and so…
~Be slow and cautios to give out your number, snap, apporve for social media requests…
~Get/Have accountability with your phone with a close friend that loves the Lord, let them see what you send and who you follow
~Have in mind what you are looking for in a man, and don’t give in
~Ask for your parents help, your student pastors help, your older siblings help
~Ask older Godly dudes for wisdom and or help
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, thing about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me – practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”
Friday, February 7th, 2014
I’m in love with a black dude. He is 5 years old, has a mo-hawk, loves Spiderman, being outside and booing Lebron with his dad. That would be me. This week we had the awesome privilege of celebrating my sons 5th birthday. On Wednesday morning he woke up just pumped that it was his day. We gave his a birthday t-shirt